Exactly a year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine starting, thus, a full-scale war. Then, nobody expected Ukraine to withstand that blow, all expected Kyiv to surrender in three days and the whole country to disappear in two weeks.

Nevertheless, thanks to the courage and persistence of the Ukrainians, it did not happen. They crashed the advancing Russian troops and threw them away from Kyiv, and later also in other directions. Thus, Moscow suffered an epic failure as in the whole year of the war it has not achieved any of the goals it had set. Yet, it has definitively made itself an international outcast, a country with no future.

Today it is obvious and confirmed multiple times: the democratic world will not leave Ukraine, it is going to support it till its final victory over Russia. A year ago, that victory seemed absolutely improbable, but today Kyiv is designing a new, post-war order of Europe and the world.

Russia is going to lose; it is already obvious. However, Belarus is also going to lose this war.

At an international conference in 2016 I said: there are two Aliaksandr Lukashenkas. One who speaks; another one who does things. Nothing done by him ever coincides with what he says.

Indeed, one Lukashenka has been telling the Belarusian people for decades that the most important thing is peaceful sky above one’s head, that Belarus would never participate in any wars, and that no aggression would ever start from our territory. The other Lukashenka did the opposite. He made agreements with the Kremlin, he let Russian troops step into (allegedly neutral) Belarus, he gave Belarusian military bases and airfields to the Russians, he deceived Ukrainians and opened the gates at the border with Ukraine for the Russian army.

Or is it not two different Lukashenkas, but one and the same? If yes, then our situation is even worse.

Today, missiles and drones fly to Ukraine from Belarus, Russian airplanes take off, Russian troops are staked in Belarus, and Belarusian infrastructures train and arm them. The Lukashenka’s Minsk, at all the international venues, is obediently voting as the Kremlin orders it to, and saying  from high tribunes what is written in Moscow guidance manuals.

It is clear, that due to that, relations of Belarusians and Ukrainians are damaged strongly and for long. As are relations with the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, actually, by and large, with the whole civilized world. It was not long ago, when our neighbors considered us peaceful and friendly people, sincerely worried about us and helped us to escape reprisals. However, Lukashenka and Putin did everything to make Belarusians become outcasts. Not yet as much as the Russians, but close to that.

Exactly a year has passed since the beginning of the war. A lot of challenges and difficulties are awaiting ahead. Yet, we can already see, that the free world is going to win. As for us, it’s high time to think about the new Belarus that we have to build. The one that will be strong enough to shake off all the curses and troubles of the current Belarus. The one that will be friends with its neighbors, the one that will be trusted and respected by the world, and not laughed at.

We will have to go from the “fiefdom of the potato Fuehrer” to a free and independent country, based on the principles of peace and democracy. We have to start that trip now. If we do not, tomorrow the missiles will hit our homes.

Glory to Ukraine!

Long Live Belarus!

Olga Karatch

Our House